The Denver Nuggets headed due west and traversed the Wasatch Mountains to clash with the Utah Jazz on Monday night. The trip clearly did not deter Nuggets center J.J. Hickson, but Marvin Williams was playing at home and definitely wasn't prepared for what Hickson had in store for him.
Hickson got his third start of the year and was inspired to reward his coach with a least one spectacular play. After a sleepy first half highlighted by a single free throw, Hickson decided he wanted to be on SportsCenter.
The big man came off a high screen and built a head of steam into the lane before taking a bounce pass from Ty Lawson. That's when Hickson climbed a ladder called "Marvin" and jumped off to flush it home with both hands. Williams ended up sprawled across the floor for his efforts.
Hickson got such elevation, he actually used the momentum of Williams jumping—or trying to jump—to continue rising in an act of gravity defiance that recalled DeAndre Jordan embarrassing Brandon Knight last season.
Poor, poor Marvin Williams. As posters are probably already being printed of Hickson dunking over him, it should be pointed out that Williams is still recovering from surgery on his Achilles in June. That still doesn't change the fact that Hickson made a garden gnome out of him on the sensational slam.
It was easily the highlight of an otherwise underwhelming half for Hickson, who knows what it's like to get picked on. Early in the first quarter, Gordon Hayward showed no respect by taking it right at Hickson and out-muscling him for the and-one.
Later in the first half, Hickson tried to go to work on Enes Kanter in the paint but Derrick Favors lunged out from behind Kanter like he was hosting a surprise birthday party to stuff the shot. Favors' swat turned into a transition dunk for Richard Jefferson.
The two-handed slam on Williams was a glorious moment for Hickson, who will be seeing a lot more court time after tests showed a stress fracture in JaVale McGee's left leg (per Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post).
As for Williams, he is buried in the backcourt rotation behind Kanter and Favors, so this unflattering memory of him will persist for quite a while.